A friend in town, who only recently became aware of this life changing blog, asked me for some plant recommendations. Oh shit. Typically I am not a fan of doling out plant advice because the pressure can become crippling.
If the recommended plant doesn’t survive, I’m scorned at the next basketball game.
If the suggested choice can’t be found at the local nursery, I’m no longer trusted and the kids aren’t invited to any more birthday parties.
But I’m putting it all on the line today.
I am that confident with the choices I’m about to offer up. The following perennials (staying away from grasses for now; he’ll have to buy me lunch first) are very specific to the conditions we have here in zone 6B New Jersey. Throw in deer and rabbits galore. And a high water table which leads to very poor draining soil.
So my local homey, here are the top 7 perennials that I can vouch for based on my personal experience. Each has thrived for at least 5 years running and all show no signs of slowing down.
Click on the hyperlink for each plant name for additional info where applicable.
You are welcome in advance.
#1 – Joe Pye Weed – close to 6 feet tall, blooms are long lasting, attracts numerous critters and looks good all the way into the fall.
#2 – Amsonia – the deer have never touched it, great bluish blooms in spring followed by fine textured foliage all summer. But Fall is when it shines with unbelievable colors ranging from yellow to orange.
#3 – Astilbe – no critter has ever touched it, appreciates oodles of moisture, blooms in white and pink and red in late spring and the fern like foliage separates itself from others.
#4 – Bee Balm – the scent keeps the deer at bay, the bees flock to it and the blooms last all summer and even into fall. I personally love the taller options which make their presence known in the garden.
#5 – Purple Coneflower – yes they are everywhere but it is still an oldie but goodie. Multiplies like mad so there is a full supply year to year. Consistent blooms without a care in the world.
#6 – Lobelia – cherishes the waterlogged soil and provides late summer blooms.
#7 – Mountain Mint – not the showiest, but what a critter magnet. I could stand over these in bloom all day.
We’ll talk again in spring dude but start doing your homework now if you want to continue to hang with me.